Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: Olympics-eve

22 Responses

  • JackElder,

    The men's road cycling race is going to be a cracker. My pick is of course Mark Cavendish, the Manx Missile, who has had a very quiet Tour de France this year (by his standards: he only won three stages). He's been targeting it all year, and he is, quite simply, the fastest sprinter (cyclist) in the world - and quite possibly the fastest of all time. It's a supreme joy to watch him jump out of the pack in the last 300m of a 200k race and go past other riders like they're standing still. His last two victories in the Tour de France both happened in the final three days - which is to say, last Friday and Sunday. He looks to be on incredible form. But a sprinter really needs a good lead-out team - and the British team for the race includes both the winner and runner-up of this year's Tour de France. In fact, every member of the British team who rode the Tour won a stage (Cavendish, Wiggins, Froome, and a cheeky win by David Millar). The thing with the Olympics is that you can't pick and choose your team from a variety of countries, as you can in the regular cycling season - so Andrei Greipel can't have Greg Henderson leading him out, 'cos Henderson's a kiwi so will be riding with Jack Bauer and a lot of hope. Britain seem to have the best all-round team, and I'd be surprised if Cavendish - who is, let's not forget, the current world champion - doesn't bring home a gold.

    Ditto Wiggins for the men's time trial - he's been time trialling like a machine. He rode an absolute blinder last week on a 53k TT stage of the TdF, coming in a full 1'16 ahead of the next rider (his own teammate Chris Froome, as it happens).

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Aidan,

    Meh.

    Canberra, Australia • Since Feb 2007 • 144 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    Also very much looking forward to the track cycling. I'm a bit annoyed that they dropped the kilo, but the pursuit events are great fun. If you've not watched cycling, they're good events for the casual watcher.

    For example, the pursuit: two riders (or teams), starting out on the opposite sides of a velodrome. Each tries to catch the other one - if they don't manage a catch, fastest one wins. Easy to understand, fun to watch. Ditto the keirin (everyone rides around behind a little motorcycle until right at the end, when they all sprint like madmen), the points race (bunch race, every couple of laps the first few over the line get points, most points wins). And then there's the madison, which is best described as rollerball meets lycra: it involves two-person teams slingshotting each other around the track, crashes are pretty much inevitable.

    I'll be cheering Alison Shanks for the women's individual pursuit, I'll say that.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Shane Telfer, in reply to JackElder,

    Unfortunately the individual pursuit has been dropped from the track programme along with the Madison. Apparently this was due to timetable constraints imposed by leveling the number of men's and women's events (now 5+5 rather than 7+3). The team pursuit is still there and a team sprint event.

    NZ • Since Jul 2012 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Considering other sporting tournaments, the Chiefs are meeting the Sharks in a home final next Saturday!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2288 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    As a political statement the opening ceremony had the merit of being much slyer than the one in Bejing. If China wanted the whole world to know where everything is being made, the British reminded the audience while their iPod might have been made in China, it is still Britain's pop songs that they are bopping to.

    Personally I find the Olympic boring. It is run by an organisation steeped in the sort of culture only corrupt ex-fascists can create and is full of unspeakably boring sports that hardly anyone in this country likes or follows. Yet we are bombarded on a gazillion channels (if you have Sky) with tedious swimming heats, soporific cycling in circles, second rate soccer and all manner of time filling rubbish - and that is just first two days.

    Still, I suppose we can look forward to unusual phenomena of the New Zealand team alone winning most of it's medals whilst sitting down, and the media presentation of this rare ability to win medals in what is usually a restful repose as an affirmation of our athletic prowess as a nation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

  • Harry Musgrave, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I also like that they decided to honour the National Health Service. That seemed to me like an addition to the American healthcare conversation - we've got socialised medicine!

    Since Jul 2009 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to JackElder,

    The men's road cycling race is going to be a cracker

    Assuming plod don't get confused and kettle them. That's two Olympic sports that are illegal outside the games now. Wonder when they'll ban archery? Or javelin?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4421 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Harry Musgrave,

    honour the National Health Service

    Fantastic political neutralisation as they dismantle it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16491 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    On the telly thing, I've been using Sky's 'mosaic' (overview of all the different sports channels' to see what's on at any one time - but there's three channels at the bottom labelled 'HD only' I can't see. I have MySky HD, I have sky sports, what else should I need to watch them?

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 241 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Richard Irvine,

    I am left wondering what the point of all the TV coverage is. Much of the indifference to the Olympic I am picking up is probably attributable to the time difference meaning most of the live competition occurs while New Zealanders are asleep. We all know who won what when we wake up and listen to the news in the morning. In the same way I never watch full rugby matches if they are not live, once you know who won or lost you just want the highlights package.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    NZ highlights so far - black sticks beating Australia, White Ferns coming within 5 minutes of drawing Brazil (jeepers they gave it everything), Bond and Murray making the entire rest of their field crap themselves by hacking the head off the "World Best Record" (why world best and not world?).

    And the French guy Yannick who anchored in the 4x100 Freestyle absolutely spanked Lochte to get gold for the French. Owned him on the last 50.

    Worst: My partner making me watch artistic gymnastics. I can handle the vault and bars and whatnot, but I don't get why they have dancing bits in the floor exercise. Talk about gap filler between the tumbling.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Richard Irvine,

    On the telly thing, I've been using Sky's 'mosaic' (overview of all the different sports channels' to see what's on at any one time - but there's three channels at the bottom labelled 'HD only' I can't see. I have MySky HD, I have sky sports, what else should I need to watch them?

    You have to pay them another $10 a month for the priviledge of receiving their channels (not FTA ones) in HD. So if you aren't paying that little tax you only get Sky Sports in standard def and they can't possibly send you the HD only ones because... well...

    Yes I'm in the same boat and yes it pisses me off royally.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Robinson, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    It took me an hour on google yesterday to get a half-pie answer.

    Wikipedia says "Because environmental conditions have a strong impact on boat speed, FISA, recognizes world best times instead of world records. A world best time is one recorded on a regatta course that has previously held the World Championships, Olympic Games, or World Cup since 1980."

    In practice, for rowing, they appear to be used interchangeably, even on the FISA (world rowing's governing body) website.

    Not so in other sports, where it usually means the event was deficient in some way (too much wind assistance in a long jump event, not enough corners in a marathon course).

    So sayeth the internet.

    Since Jul 2010 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    @Gareth - thanks, that explains that. I tend to ignore most things Sky send me, so that may explain why I missed it!

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 241 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tim Robinson,

    half-pie

    that's half-pai
    (as in, half kapai)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16491 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Personally I find the Olympic boring. It is run by an organisation steeped in the sort of culture only corrupt ex-fascists can create and is full of unspeakably boring sports that hardly anyone in this country likes or follows.

    So. Not a huge fan then?.
    As for the National Health angle. Do you think Mitt Romney got a heads up?.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4670 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Yeah. We had the world rowing championships right here in NZ. Same standard as the Olympics.

    Did anyone go? not many.

    But sprinkle the Olympic pixie dust on it, and everyone's super keen. Apparently it's all about having something to talk about. If they made up an imaginary one, like miniature horse polo, or curling, I'm sure everyone would be fully into it, especially if a Keewee was in with a chance.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4421 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Yeah. We had the world rowing championships right here in NZ. Same standard as the Olympics.

    Did anyone go? not many.

    The 2010 world rowing championships at Karapiro set an all-time attendance record for the regatta: 66,000 tickets sold.

    It lost $2.2m but that certainly wasn’t because spectators didn’t turn up. The organisers screwed up on costs, but lots of people went. Lots. They apparently even had a good time.

    But sprinkle the Olympic pixie dust on it, and everyone’s super keen. Apparently it’s all about having something to talk about. If they made up an imaginary one, like miniature horse polo, or curling, I’m sure everyone would be fully into it, especially if a Keewee was in with a chance.

    Whatever.

    Really Rich, you might want to occasionally pause and just listen to how bloody joyless you can sound.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18709 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Still, I suppose we can look forward to unusual phenomena of the New Zealand team alone winning most of it’s medals whilst sitting down, and the media presentation of this rare ability to win medals in what is usually a restful repose as an affirmation of our athletic prowess as a nation.

    What an absurd statement. You and Rich should get into competitive moaning. You'd be unbeatable in the pairs.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18709 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    unbeatable in the pairs

    imagine the Poms would put up a solid resistance

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16491 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Sacha,

    imagine the Poms would put up a solid resistance

    I resemble that remark. :-(
    Apparently us Poms are bloody useless, even losing the Keys to Wembley Stadium. You'd think they would have a spare set wouldn't you?.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4670 posts Report Reply

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